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Cleaning the Oceans and the Earth

Bringing awareness to environmental issues has been a priority for Dispenser Amenities for many years. In recent years, celebrities have notably been using their fame as a platform to advocate for environmentalism. The 2016 Oscars recognized some of the best actors of our generation, including the often nominated but frequently overlooked Leonardo DiCaprio. In his Oscar acceptance speech for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, DiCaprio spoke about the importance of protecting our planet stating that “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity…” Two up and coming examples of environmental leaders that deserve recognition are the founders of Seabin and The Ocean Cleanup.

One of the most important elements of the Earth’s ecosystem is the ocean; with water covering roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, keeping these regions clean is instrumental to our continued survival. This undertaking has two essential components: keeping the trash from reaching the ocean, and cleaning up what is already out there. Two new companies from different corners of the world are presently working to accomplish each of these tasks.

Seabin

Seabin was founded by a pair of Australian surfers – Peter Ceglinski and Andrew Turton – who had become increasingly frustrated with garbage, oil, fuel, and other waste clogging up the waterways. They recognized that much of this garbage came from the marinas, and the most efficient cleanup system at the time was simply a person on a boat with a net. The pair figured there must be a better way.
Enter the “Seabin.” The system works by pumping water through a natural fiber bag that captures all sorts of debris including plastics, oils, and paper. It works along the same principles as a standard pool filter. This system is highly effective at attracting garbage and helping to keep it from contaminating the open ocean, but it is a supplemental solution. It is together with conventional methods of removing trash that the Seabin will help minimise the amount trash that pollutes our oceans.

The Ocean Cleanup

This startup, founded in The Netherlands by Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat, takes its ambitions farther out into the open ocean. Once in the oceans, plastic pollution collects in one of the world’s five gyres. Current methods for cleaning the ocean are inefficient and time-consuming, which inspired Slat to create The Ocean Cleanup. Boyan Slat’s solution is to harness the oceans’ natural currents and create a massive barrier that captures all of the plastic and refuse passing through. This garbage can then be gathered and disposed of. Boyan Slat has already received millions of dollars in support and won praise from the UN. Although still in the testing phase, studies have shown it to be full of promise.

SeaBin and The Ocean Cleanup are two companies that are facilitating a cleaner future for our planet through creativity and entrepreneurship. These are the types of companies that deserve our support and recognition. We need to look to leaders such as these to continue to create momentum towards global environmentalism and supporting environmental initiatives.


Power to the Pipes!

Over the years, a variety of renewable energy sources have emerged, one of the most popular being hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power, though popular, is far from perfect. In fact, there are a number of environmental costs associated with this process. Traditionally, the power is generated through the use of dams. Dams are infamous for disrupting local wildlife and flooding previously dry regions. Additionally, the power produced by dams is inconsistent and  fluctuates greatly in times of drought. LucidEnergy is harnessing hydroelectric power in a different way and has come up with a solution to the environmental costs of traditional hydroelectric power generation.

LucidEnergy’s Big Idea

LucidEnergy, posed an interesting question: What is the most common source of running water with which people interact? The answer lies underground in the pipes that deliver water cities’ residents. LucidEnergy then asked: why not install hydroelectric generators in the water pipes themselves? Unlike the streams and rivers traditionally used in energy production, pipes are reliable man-made artificial constructs. As such, there is minimal environmental impact associated with the use of these generators within existing city pipes.

To make this happen, LucidEnergy created the “LucidPipe”. The LucidPipe functions much like a standard water pipe but comes equipped with turbines hooked to generators. These turbines are capable of generating power from everyday drinking water flowing through them. By using LucidPipes, the environmental impact decreases significantly and energy production is more resistant to external factors such as drought due to the necessity of drinking water even during lean times.

Where is this Happening?

The system is still in its early stages of adoption, however it has already passed its initial test in Riverside, California and has been fully installed in Portland, Oregon. LucidPipe has proven effective in Portland and has already drawn attention from cities in China, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. Cities adopting LucidPipe can gain revenue from the power generated from drinking power in addition to their pre-existing drinking water costs.

The Benefits

The biggest benefit with the LucidPipe system is how it reduces environmental impact. LucidPipe is an ingenious solution to the environmental consequences resulting from large-scale dam building. Man-made pipes are the perfect eco-friendly power generation tool. The LucidPipe eliminates issues associated with dams such as inconsistency, flooding, and greenhouse gas emissions. As more cities move to replace old pipes with power generating models, cities shift away from destructive dam building and move towards a lower-impact solution.


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